‘Mindless vandals’ destroy cherry tree saplings in Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 August 2013
“MINDLESS vandals”, who deliberately smashed cherry tree saplings in WGC, have been slammed.
Cllr Mandy Perkins told how last autumn Welwyn Hatfield Council planted 136 trees in sets of four in Digswell Road to replicate the original ornamental avenue of flowering cherries.
The trees had been carefully selected; not only were they the same species as the original ones, but they all came from the same stock so that they would all flower at the same time. Cllr Perkins said: “By the spring of this year it was already possible to see how beautiful these trees will be in future years, and gave me, and many others, great pleasure.”
But she added: “Sadly, it appears that not everyone feels the same way. Quite soon after the planting seven trees were damaged and had to be replaced and a further five trees were damaged later on.
“At that time we put wire cages round what we thought were the most vulnerable trees.
“But that was nothing compared with the mindless vandalism that has taken place over the last couple of weekends.
“Someone, or some persons, snapped seven trees the first weekend and nine the second, just below the crown on each occasion, so now there are 21 trees missing from the planting scheme.”
She urged anyone with information to shop the yobs to the police.
“I’m sure someone reading this knows who’s responsible for this criminal damage, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to let the police know who they are,” she said.
Shaun O’Reilly, chairman of the Welwyn Garden City Society, also decried the “horrible” vandals.
He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s horrible, money wasted because of vandals who shouldn’t do it.”
A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “We are extremely disappointed that this has happened.”
She added: “We have reported the vandalism of 16 of the trees which we believe took place on the weekend of Saturday, August 3 or Sunday, August 4 and the weekend before this, to the police.
“We are now looking at whether we can replace these trees which were snapped at their trunks.
“If anyone did see this vandalism of the trees in progress along Digswell Road, we would really appreciate this being reported to Hertfordshire Police.”
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